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The Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill ensuring that a victims' compensation fund related to the September 11 attacks never runs out of money.
Comedian Jon Stewart, who is a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, looked on from the Senate Gallery on Tuesday as the 97-2 was passed and he was spotted embracing first responders immediately after.
Supporters - Responders - Standing - Ovation
He and other supporters, including first responders, gave a standing ovation when it passed.
The bill is now being sent to President Donald Trump who is expected to sign it.
Vote - Senators - Votes - Amendments - Senators
The vote came after Democratic senators agreed to allow votes on amendments sponsored by two Republican senators who had been blocking the widely popular bill.
The Senate easily defeated the amendments proposed by GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Lee and Paul voted against the bill's final passage.
Sen - Kirsten - Gillibrand - New - York
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said 9/11 first responders and their families have had 'enough of political games' that delayed passage of the bill for months.
'Our 9/11 heroes deserve this program as written,' Gillibrand said. 'Let our heroes go home and live in peace and finally exhale.'
Bill - Fund - Terrorist - Attacks - Fund
The bill would extend through 2092 a fund created after the 2001 terrorist attacks, essentially making it permanent. The $7.4 billion fund is rapidly being depleted and administrators recently cut benefit payments by up to 70 percent.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the House-passed bill would result in about $10.2 billion in additional compensation payments over 10 years, including more than $4 billion for claims already filed.
Senate - Leader - Chuck - Schumer - New
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the bill guarantees 'once and for all that the heroes who rushed to the towers 18 years ago will no longer have to worry about compensation for their families when they're gone'.
First responders 'won't have to return to...
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